Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Where in the World are you?

Did you ever play or watch Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? I LOVED that show and the game was pretty cool too! I love geography! I love knowing things about countries, I love reading about the life there, the wildlife, the people, the culture. Being that I am terrified of planes....I guess reading about them is my way of going there in my mind! And I think kids need to know WHERE things are in general! Then when you are reading an article in the newpaper or watching the news on TV and they tell you about an uprising in Afghanistan or a Tsunami in Japan, you KNOW where it is! Now, I do not require my boys to know where every little city and town is in each place but I want them to have a general idea of WHERE that country is! The State they live in, that is a different story! I think knowing lots about your State is important! You live there for goodness sakes! You should know the capital, the State bird, the State song, the State flower, etc. I also think kids should know about the COUNTRY they live in! Know the history, know the basic facts, just know! And you may say, boy this Mom is demanding! How does she expect her kids to learn all this? Well, geography games online is a good place to start! This year we are combining Math with geography using a new program, plus we are studying Oregon...the State we live in, in depth! I found these great fill in books at the teacher store as well as an activity book of Oregon facts that looks pretty cool! They are high schoolers this year but we are still doing things like that to break up our more studious day plus they are learning while having fun answering questions about their world!!

LOVE me some Spelling City!!

Ok, I am gonna just say it! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Spelling City! Though they are called Vocabulary/Spelling City now! We have been fans of theirs since we started homeschooling in 2008! Well, technically we didn't discover it until early 2009 but we have used them every year for our online spelling test needs! And despite that I have 2 high schoolers, we are once again using them! Not only can I plug in whatever words I want for my boys, but I also have the option to use premade lists which is what we will be using this year for high school! And then the boys get those words and not only do their spelling test online but also play games with those words! Which in my opinion further enhances their learning the word and spelling of it! Has their spelling improved? YES! Emphatically, YES!!! Is there a fight to get them to do their spelling? NO! They love it because it is easy, it is fun and it makes my life easier! And it is either free OR you can get a yearly premium membership for under $30! Oh and the best part, I can take their spelling words and have them printed out as a handwriting worksheet! Either in block or cursive and several sizes to choose from!! So.....they then get to practice their cursive AND mentally charge their brains with their spelling words! If anyone asks or posts about wanting a spelling program, I recommend Spelling City EVERY time! And since the new school year is upon many of us...I wanted to bring it up for my followers! Check it out, you and your kids will LOVE it!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Math Program Scavenger Hunt!

Can we just skip Math? I mean honestly? It is Summer, we are done with school and while my boys are on vacation....Mom is hard at work lining up their 2012-2013 curriculum!! There is no Summer for a homeschooling Mom it seems! We are always looking for something better, easier, smarter, whatever! And that includes MATH! The dreaded subject in this house! The dreaded word! The dreaded ANYTHING! And since my older son had issues with the Math he had for his 9th grade year....I am on the lookout for something more suited to him. A good online math program that fills the void he has, makes it easier for him to understand in layman's terms and keeps some of the frustrations with Math at bay! My son is a visual learner so a math program that is for a visual learner would be IDEAL! It is like a scavenger hunt to me! I spend my off time, chatting with homeschool friends about what they like, use, hated, etc. in an online Math program! Well, at least I cannot say I am ever bored!!! So...if anyone wants to comment....go ahead and while you are it...tell me about your Math program, love it...hate it, etc.

We love our word searches!

I do not know about you, but I am a HUGE fan of word searches! So are my kids! We have word search books for vacation, we have electronic word search games for the car, we do the word search in the paper! Every holiday, I spend time on the internet and find a printable word search! Imagine how thrilled I was when I was plugging our spelling words into our account at Spelling City and found out that they have a word search maker!! WAHOOO So, now I can even turn my boys weekly spelling words into a printable word search! I can plan on adding that to our 2012-2013 curriculum!! Because despite being high schoolers, my boys still do spelling! It is a requirement in our house! So much F-U-N! Up, Down, Backwards, Forwards, and Diagonally!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mom is hard at work on Fall curriculum of Math, Science and yes, even Spelling!

While we just finished our school year and while my boys are enjoying just vegging out for the Summer... Mom is already hard at work on Fall 2012 curriculum! I am never one to let things go until the last minute AND I want to be prepared when Fall starts because I have 2, count them 2....high schoolers! The Fall curriculum will definitely include Math, Science, History, Language Arts, a Foreign language and Spelling Curriculum! Despite that they are high schoolers and technically above "spelling"....I am a firm believer that spelling is a life skill that everyone should have! Yes, most computers have spell check now.....kids are not always on their computers! I still have my boys write letters by hand, they must take notes by hand and keep lists for things they want! This not only practices their handwriting but it keeps their spelling in tune! So...as I search the internet for the best curriculum for our needs.....they are chilling on their bikes, playing in the sprinkler, camping with Grandma and Grandpa or jumping into Grammy and Poppy's pool with no knowledge to how much Mom works for their homeschooling in the off hours! But it is 100% worth it! Love those boys!!

Using Music as an educational tool!

Music is a great way to teach, especially if you have music oriented kids! Think back to when you were a kid and the songs you learned in school! Even nursery rhyme songs! They almost always had lessons, they taught us things about life, the world, our country, etc. They were educational songs! Some kids learn better while listening to music, some learn better when things are put into a song! Your child can sing an entire Justin Bieber song but cannot remember their States and Capitals. See if together you can come up with a song to use to memorize these! It might help, one of those tunes that gets stuck in their heads!! With my 2 teens.....I have 1 that loves music and 1 that likes it on car rides, etc. but it doesn’t have to be his thing! So if we were needing to memorize things.....we might try to find a silly ditty that could be turned into an educational song that even as high schoolers....they would love! That is the joy of homeschooling.....we can tweak things to work for our kids, even if it means tweaking it two, three or even four times because each child is different! So...if there was a subject that your child really struggled with this past school year...and they love music, maybe a search of the internet for educational songs that you can use for that subject! It might just be the ice breaker you need to get them to understand and learn the subject! Happy Homeschooling!